There is no such thing as a convenient time to pump. Even when people say that when you wake up or go to sleep, those could be good times to pump, well… those are also good times to go exercise and… SLEEP EARLIER. But it’s especially annoying when it comes to travel. Because not only do you have to think about how to pump and cover up if in public, but how do you store your milk once it’s pumped? So on the way to Wilmington today, I pumped while in the car. Chris drove. Kaia babbled and napped. I pumped. I set myself up while Chris stopped the car to get gas, and I pumped en route, which actually wasn’t so bad after all. It was a good way to pass time during the 2+ hour drive. When you’re in a fast moving vehicle on a highway, you don’t have to worry much about people noticing that your nipples are out and exposed, connected to an electric nipple sucker. It was just a bit nerve wracking to disconnect and empty out the milk while the car was still moving. I just got lucky and there were no sudden stops or bumps as I was consolidating the milk and getting the last drops out of the flanges and duck bill valves.
I told my friend, who has also breastfed and pumped, that next month, I would go down to 3 pumps per day once Kaia reached 11 months of age. Then, when Kaia turns 1, I’ll go down to two pumps per day. It’s a bittersweet thought: I’ve both hated and been grateful for pumping this whole time. It’s been massively inconvenient, but I’ve been grateful to my body for what it’s been able to provide my baby, and I’ve taken great pride and joy in knowing I can feed my baby food that my body produces just for her. She insisted to me that although it would make me feel a little sad to not do this for Kaia anymore, it would also be extremely liberating, which I know would be the case. But it’s what our night nurse originally told me: everything has its time, and cumbersome things like pumping have a definitive start and end point. I’m closer to the end of my pumping journey than the beginning of it.
“You’ll have many other ways to bond with her,” my friend said to me. “Your relationship will grow.”
I hope so.